Next Article in Journal
Filipino College Students’ Attitudes towards Religion: An Analysis of the Underlying Factors
Previous Article in Journal
Comparative Theology: An Alternative to Religious Studies or Theology of Religions?
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(3), 84;

Emerging Adult Religiosity and Spirituality: Linking Beliefs, Values, and Ethical Decision-Making

Department of Sociology & Criminology and Center for Social Research, University of Arkansas, 218 Old Main Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1025 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  


This paper challenges the “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) category as a methodological artifact caused by interacting two closed-ended survey items into binary combinations. Employing a theoretically rich approach, this study maps the multiple ways in which the religious and the spiritual combine for emerging adults. Results indicate that most emerging adults have a tacit sense of morality, displaying limited cognitive access to how moral reasoning relates to religious and spiritual orientations. This longitudinal study investigates efforts to raise moral awareness through: exposure to diverse religious and spiritual orientations, personal reflection, and collective discussion. Relative to control groups, emerging adults in this study display increases in moral awareness. We combine the results of these studies to formulate a theoretical framework for the ways in which beliefs, values, and ethical decision-making connect in expressing plural combinations of religiosity and spirituality. The implication is that direct attention to religiosity and spirituality — not avoidance of — appears to facilitate ethical decision-making. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; youth; culture; morality; ethics; theory adolescents; youth; culture; morality; ethics; theory

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Herzog, P.S.; Beadle, D.A.T. Emerging Adult Religiosity and Spirituality: Linking Beliefs, Values, and Ethical Decision-Making. Religions 2018, 9, 84.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top